OFL running deficits, pension plan underfunded

“The OFL has run deficits for the past two years, and liabilities, led by pension obligations, far outstrip assets on the balance sheet… According to the note from the independent auditor the OFL’s “accumulated” net asset deficiency is nearly $6-million.” – National Post article.

“They owe nearly three times more than they have … So their balance sheet looks awful…” – Alan Mak of Rosen & Associates Ltd.

“When you have large liabilities, the last thing you do is spend more than you take in.” – Linda Haslam-Stroud, president of the Ontario Nurses’ Association.

In her story “Ontario Federation of Labour may need to trim employees’ benefits to solve pension fund deficit” appearing in the National Post on April 2nd this year, Barbara Schecter tells us that an audit of the OFL’s finances by BDO Canada has revealed a very sorry state of affairs indeed.

OFL President Sid Ryan is quoted as saying that “We are currently on the path to balance the books” but to my mind, that may mean he has little idea of what he is talking about, or is simply trying to put a positive spin on the situation – “balancing the books” is a mathematical function, and underfunding the employees’ pension plan is a matter of failing to meet obligations.

I complained bitterly about Sid Ryan’s efforts to take control of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System back in 1999 when he was the president of CUPE Ontario, and perhaps the current problems indicate that I may have been correct in my fears of pension monies being spent on left-wing political activities.

The OFL’s revenue comes from all unionized workers in Ontario, with the notable exception of those unions which have pulled out of the OFL in protest at how the finances are being handled,  such as the Ontario Nurses’ Association, quoted above, and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union.

Tough decisions will have to be made, and I wonder if Ryan will cut back on political activities and campaigns, or on the more mundane business expenses relating to running the labour movement.  My guess is that he is unlikely to cut back on pursuing his political agenda unless forced to do so…

As I said in 1999 referring to the OMERS pension plan, (See “CUPE Boss Eyes Pension Fund” in my Sid Ryan category linked to below), “Keep your greedy paws away from my pension, Sid- I like OMERS just the way it is.”

Jeff Goodall.

Read Barbara Schecter’s National Post article here.

See my “Sid Ryan” category here.